Most people have a love/hate relationship with their vacuum cleaner. Everyone loves how their carpets look after a thorough vacuuming, but they also dread dragging their canister or upright vacuum from the back of the closet. Dry carpet cleaning is important, however, so regular vacuuming is a must if you want to prolong the life of the carpet.
Because wrestling with your vacuum cleaner can be a bit of a chore, it's human nature to put off carpet cleaning while you're tidying up in favor of heavy vacuuming every once in a while. That's a mistake. Regular light vacuuming of wall to wall carpet is essential to keep it looking fresh. It will also greatly extend the useful life of the carpet, and increase indoor air quality, too. Here's why.
Imagine Your Carpet Is a Marble Floor
Picture what would happen if you carpet were a black marble floor. You'd see a fine film of dust appear on it every day. If you have pets, the dander and dirt would cover the floor several times a day, no matter how often you wiped it up. In seasons when pollen is in the air, the dust will be even thicker.
The only difference between your carpet and this imaginary black marble floor is that you'd notice dust, dirt, pollen, and dander on the marble. That same fine film of dust is settling on your carpet all day, every day. If you noticed it the way you notice it on hard surfaces, you'd be more likely to clean more often.
How Much Dirt Can a Carpet Hold?
If you put off dry carpet cleaning chores, you might be surprised just how much dust a carpet can hold. Depending on the density and thickness of the pile of the carpet, your vacuum has to be rated to pick up as much as one pound of dirt per square foot according to the ASTM standards. While you'd need to put off vacuuming for a long time to accumulate that much, it demonstrates that you might have dozens of pounds of particulate matter stuck in your carpet if you don't keep up with it.
The dust and dirt that settles on your carpet every day makes its way down into the pile very quickly as you walk on it. This layer of dirt acts like sandpaper, and it quickly abrades the backing where the fibers enter it. If left long enough, the pile will begin to loosen and unravel at these spots, and you could begin to see bare patches here and there.
When we perform our carpet cleaning services, we thoroughly vacuum before beginning our low moisture carpet cleaning techniques. It's important to remove as much of the soil as possible before adding any water to it. That way, the maximum amount of dirt and dust is removed from the carpeting pile and backing with the minimum amount of abrasion.
Clean Carpets Increase Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality suffers when you don't vacuum often enough. While the dust and dirt will eventually filter down into the pile and backing, you'll still raise a cloud of fine dust in the air every time you walk over the carpet. If you have energetic pets or young children running around, the effect can become quite noticeable. If anyone in your house suffers from asthma or other breathing problems, the dust from the carpet is sure to make the problem much worse.
That's why it's important to think of your dry carpet cleaning chores as a form of dusting, not a big operation that you only perform once in a while with giant vacuum. Most people would get better results if they chose a lighter, more maneuverable vacuum or sweeper to "dust" their carpets. Just like all the other surfaces in your house, a regular, light cleaning is much more effective and less physically demanding than letting things get dirty enough to bring out the heavy artillery.
Vacuum Less, More Often
No matter how powerful your vacuum might be, it's always easier to remove dust and dirt from the surface of the carpet than to draw it out of the bottom of the pile. Lightly vacuum your carpets as often as you can, and then establish a yearly schedule of professional low moisture carpet cleaning to keep your carpet as fresh and clean as the day it was installed.